During the same ceremony, 18-year-old Ricky Rubio was given the 2008 FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year; this is the second straight time he wins such an award.
Rubio remembered that teammate Rudy Fernandez won this award three years ago, which “shows how important this award is.” The player “drafted” by Minnesota Timberwolves said that winning the FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year as Gasol did it is “still a dream”, though he’s aware he must “take one step at a time to improve.”
The point guard has two years remaining on his contract with his current Spanish team, DKV Joventut, and has been seeking to have his $6.6 million buyout reduced.
Another newspaper, Marca, reported that DKV Joventut has an agreement on the buyout with Real Madrid, but Rubio wants to stay in Barcelona.
Under NBA rules, the Wolves can pay no more than $500,000 toward his buyout.
Rubio, 18, had hoped to have his situation resolved today, before tryouts began for a Spanish national team that will compete in a tournament in Poland, but told Marca that it was not possible.
“I do not know how long it will take to clear my future,” he said.
The trick would be for the T-Wolves franchise to have patience with Mark, to let him grow with the squad, instead of pulling the plug on him too soon because of a rough year or two as everyone figures this thing out. It happens all the time in the NBA (Reggie Theus immediately comes to mind) and we never get to find out if these young coaches have what it takes.
“It’s a business and you have to view it that way,” said the personable Gomes, who is coming off his best season as a pro, having averaged 13 points and five rebounds. “The downside to all that’s happened is that I lost a lot of really good friends there, though I’ll definitely still be staying in touch with them.
“The upside of it is that now we have guys who might make us better than we were last year. I like what I’ve seen from Jonny Flynn a lot. He’s an explosive athlete who is great at getting to the rim.”
Corey Brewer, SF, Minnesota (No. 7)
Many were high on the 2007 Final Four MVP before the draft. He was raw offensively, but long, quick and smooth, and thought to be the next great defensive stopper in the NBA.
But Brewer’s rookie season was quite disappointing. He shot just 37 percent from the field and didn’t have a clear role in the rotation, even though the Timberwolves had nothing to play for but their future. He began last season as the starting small forward, but lost his job by Nov. 16 and tore his ACL against Denver on Nov. 29.
Brewer returned to action in the Summer League earlier this month, and with the trade of Mike Miller to Washington, there’s a spot in the starting lineup for him again. The Wolves clearly have young talent at the point and on the frontline, but Brewer needs to prove he can be one of their wings of the future.